Chemistry

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When you're naming organic compounds, is there more than one name that's acceptable for each compound? For example

Ch3-CH2-CH2 CH3
1 1
CH3-CH-CH-CH
1 1
CH3-CH2 CH3

Hopefully this appeared alright once I typed it. The ones represent bonds. In the answer key, the name is 3 ethyl 2, 4 dimethyl heptane. However, I followed a different path and got 4 methyl 5 propyl heptene. Could both answers be right? If the organic compound appeared messed up on your screen, as a general rule, can compounds have different names to them? Thanks for your help.

  • Chemistry -

    The IUPAC rules usually are long and sometimes complicated; however, as I understand it, IUPAC sometimes recognizes other names besides the "right" name. In your case, however, your name will not hold up. For one reason, it isn't a heptene although that may have been a typo on your part. For the second reason, propyl is more complicated than ethyl and you go with the least complicated. Finally, forgetting what is exactly right and what is not right, I note that we may be able to name something five different ways and most times people will know what we are talking about even though none are the exact name according to the rules.

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